Aiming to tackle the short and long term implications of Covid-19 patients who have beaten the infection, Fortis Hospital, Mulund has now decided to start a dedicated ‘post-Covid-19 OPD’ from today. Doctors said the post- Covid -19 OPD will be based on three key pillars, clinical assessment, psychological intervention and rehabilitative care and a team will assess the Covid survivors post-discharge on day 14, day 28, and in the 3rd and 6th month, under this post- Covid-19 health-check program.
Detailed clinical assessment will help in tackling the residual impact of the infection. Physical rehabilitation is also important to assess the impact on mobility, exercise tolerance and muscle weakness. A psychological evaluation will be helpful in addressing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) amongst those who have battled severe Covid. These key areas of focus will help understand, diagnose and treat the long and short term implications of Covid-19, post-recovery.
“Patients will also be assessed for lung fitness and pulmonary fibrosis, especially amongst those who have had complicated recoveries in the ICU. Those with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, etc. will be evaluated to gauge the seriousness of the disease before, and after contracting an infection. This focused effort will help Covid-19 survivors who experience generalised weakness and lethargy, pain in the limbs, and those facing difficulty in recovering Lung capacity,” said a doctor.
It is the first of its kind OPD will be functional twice a week (Wednesday & Saturday) at the hospital. The rehabilitation program will also include counselling of Covid-19 survivors about blood plasma donation for convalescent plasma therapy which will help critically ill patients fighting the infection.
Dr Rahul Pandit, a key member of Maharashtra’s Covid taskforce, said, they have noticed significant changes in Covid survivors such as lack of exercise tolerance, disturbed sleep pattern, muscle wasting, lack of appetite, neuropsychiatric implications like depression, insomnia, while some of these patients tend to develop worsening of their existing comorbidities. “A panel of experts will be required to thoroughly assess post-COVID-19 complications, normal follow-ups are not enough. Re-evaluation of pre-existing conditions will be key to gauge the disease impact before and after COVID-19. Rehabilitation will have to be planned as per each patient’s recovery status, and observed over a course of 6 months,” he said.
Dr S Narayani, Zonal Director, Fortis Hospitals, Mumbai, said, “We are now entering the next phase of COVID-19 care with the post-COVID-19 OPD, where COVID-19 survivors will be rehabilitated back into their daily lives by providing clinical, psychological and rehabilitative care.”